Subspecies and protection

Ron Gatrelle gatrelle at
Sat Oct 14 16:28:10 EDT 2000

    Absolutely, where phenotype is not a factor, other, evidence for
subspeciation must be compelling. I consider the unique migration phenomenon
in N.A. plexippus to be a blatantly, unarguably, obvious evidence of
    Those who use the same process for determining both species and
subspecies will inherently be in error on one or the other. Subspecies and
species are (should be) evaulated and determined in very different ways.
Today, the lumpers seem to hold the editorial power. This is bad news for
subspecies becuase they are being shot down becuase they are being measured
against  species level criteria. Taxonomy is not a fixed science like
inorganic chemistry. It is a fluid science because its media is the living,
moving, evolution of organisms. This is not the format for me to "reprint"
my own published material on this.
    At the subspecific level the geneticist is often left out because there
may be no genetic evidence. Thought there may be molecular.
    I fully agree, a reviewer on this should not have a in-vested part in
the monarch $millions. Though the author surely can.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bruce Walsh" <jbwalsh at>
To: "Ron Gatrelle" <gatrelle at>; "Chris J. Durden"
<drdn at>
Cc: "Leps-l" <leps-l at>
Sent: Saturday, October 14, 2000 3:50 PM
Subject: Subspecies and protection

> Ron and company:
> Re:  "  I think we could get more protection for N.A. plexippus WHERE
> the subspecies were published and recognized. I think A. Brower should do
> this. I think we at TTR would agree to publish such a paper."
> I get VERY nervous when subspecies are proposed apparently solely for the
> reason for protecting a species.  As a population geneticist, I really
> like to see some solid genetic evidence when large and consistent
> differences are lacking.
> Also, this is certainly a case where two (or more) independent, outside
> reviewers are required given the risk that politics and science can be
> confounded.  One reviewer should NOT have any association with the Monarch
> "inner circle".
> Please note:  this is NOT a solicitation to do such a review if such a
> paper were to be submitted -- I'm on sabbatical and too busy being the
> associate editor for two other journals (Genetics, Genetical  Research) as
> well.
> Cheers
> Bruce

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